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Reich writes: "Sequestration is only the start. What they set out to do was not simply change Washington but eviscerate the U.S. government - 'drown it in the bathtub,' in the words of their guru Grover Norquist."

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)


The Sequester and the Tea Party Plot

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

01 March 13

 

magine a plot to undermine the government of the United States, to destroy much of its capacity to do the public's business, and to sow distrust among the population.

Imagine further that the plotters infiltrate Congress and state governments, reshape their districts to give them disproportionate influence in Washington, and use the media to spread big lies about the government.

Finally, imagine they not only paralyze the government but are on the verge of dismantling pieces of it.

Far-fetched? Perhaps. But take a look at what's been happening in Washington and many state capitals since Tea Party fanatics gained effective control of the Republican Party, and you'd be forgiven if you see parallels.

Tea Party Republicans are crowing about the "sequestration" cuts beginning today (Friday). "This will be the first significant tea party victory in that we got what we set out to do in changing Washington," says Rep. Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), a Tea Partier who was first elected in 2010.

Sequestration is only the start. What they set out to do was not simply change Washington but eviscerate the U.S. government - "drown it in the bathtub," in the words of their guru Grover Norquist - slashing Social Security and Medicare, ending worker protections we've had since the 1930s, eroding civil rights and voting rights, terminating programs that have helped the poor for generations, and making it impossible for the government to invest in our future.

Sequestration grew out of a strategy hatched soon after they took over the House in 2011, to achieve their goals by holding hostage the full faith and credit of the United States - notwithstanding the Constitution's instruction that the public debt of the United States "not be questioned."

To avoid default on the public debt, the White House and House Republicans agreed to harsh and arbitrary "sequestered" spending cuts if they couldn't come up with a more reasonable deal in the interim. But the Tea Partiers had no intention of agreeing to anything more reasonable. They knew the only way to dismember the federal government was through large spending cuts without tax increases.

Nor do they seem to mind the higher unemployment their strategy will almost certainly bring about. Sequestration combined with January's fiscal cliff deal is expected to slow economic growth by 1.5 percentage points this year - dangerous for an economy now crawling at about 2 percent. It will be even worse if the Tea Partiers refuse to extend the government's spending authority, which expires March 27.

A conspiracy theorist might think they welcome more joblessness because they want Americans to be even more fearful and angry. Tea Partiers use fear and anger in their war against the government - blaming the anemic recovery on government deficits and the government's size, and selling a poisonous snake-oil of austerity economics and trickle-down economics as the remedy.

They likewise use the disruption and paralysis they've sown in Washington to persuade Americans government is necessarily dysfunctional, and politics inherently bad. Their continuing showdowns and standoffs are, in this sense, part of the plot.

What is the President's response? He still wants a so-called "grand bargain" of "balanced" spending cuts (including cuts in the projected growth of Social Security and Medicare) combined with tax increases on the wealthy. So far, though, he has agreed to a gross imbalance - $1.5 trillion in cuts to Republicans' $600 billion in tax increases on the rich.

The President apparently believes Republicans are serious about deficit reduction, when in fact the Tea Partiers now running the GOP are serious only about dismembering the government.

And he seems to accept that the budget deficit is the largest economic problem facing the nation, when in reality the largest problem is continuing high unemployment (some 20 million Americans unemployed or under-employed), declining real wages, and widening inequality. Deficit reduction now or in the near-term will only make these worse.

Besides, the deficit is now down to about 5 percent of GDP - where it was when Bill Clinton took office. It is projected to mushroom in later years mainly because healthcare costs are expected to rise faster than the economy is expected to grow, and the American population is aging. These trends have little or nothing to do with government programs. In fact, Medicare is far more efficient than private health insurance.

I suggest the President forget about a "grand bargain." In fact, he should stop talking about the budget deficit and start talking about jobs and wages, and widening inequality - as he did in the campaign. And he should give up all hope of making a deal with the Tea Partiers who now run the Republican Party.

Instead, the President should let the public see the Tea Partiers for who they are - a small, radical minority intent on dismantling the government of the United States. As long as they are allowed to dictate the terms of public debate they will continue to hold the rest of us hostage to their extremism.



Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock" and "The Work of Nations." His latest is an e-book, "Beyond Outrage." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause.

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-70 # Walter J Smith 2013-03-01 09:33
RE: "Imagine a plot to undermine the government of the United States, to destroy much of its capacity to do the public's business, and to sow distrust among the population.

Imagine further that the plotters infiltrate Congress and state governments, reshape their districts to give them disproportionat e influence in Washington, and use the media to spread big lies about the government.

So, yes, " the President (should) forget about a "grand bargain." But this goes directly against the President's character. He is addicted to those grand bargains that invariably result in grand pork disasters, like Obamacare, like the phoney Dodd-Frank banking bill, like the yet to be seen substantive legislation to create jobs. Oh, yes, there have been so-called 'jobs' bills; they were too stupid to even be called what they were called.

The President is addicted to grandiose failures.

Let's not interrupt him. He is determined to do to the Democratic Party what Rove & Cheney & GWB did to the GOP. The sooner these armies of bipartisan hacks march off the stage of history, the better.

Finally, imagine they not only paralyze the government but are on the verge of dismantling pieces of it."

Those of us who have been observing it, do not have to imagine it.

Nor do we have to imagine how readily the "me. too!" Democrats have readily and eagerly gone along with those loonies.
 
 
-41 # joedeane 2013-03-01 10:33
"Let's not interrupt him. He is determined to do to the Democratic Party what Rove & Cheney & GWB did to the GOP. The sooner these armies of bipartisan hacks march off the stage of history, the better."
The essential distinction is between being anti- social state and anti-national empire. Both Dems and Repugs fit this picture: they think to build the financial, commercial, military empire the social state (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) must be made to fit. Mussolini and Hitler's corporate state was this model.
 
 
-7 # Virginia 2013-03-01 13:09
It does appear the Centrist attitudes tend to be driving the economy into further depression. The line between the parties is blurry and it appears we have a choice - either these 2 worthless, corrupt political parties to choose from or an all out obvious Facist dictatorship ruled by the banks. Not much of a difference or a selection.
 
 
0 # Walter J Smith 2013-03-02 21:19
Well, we can still vote for the Libertarians, the Greens, or the Justice Parties.

That is the only way voting will make any difference.

And notice how much the Ds reading this site hate our pointing out the obvious.

They also hated it when I said weeks ago that Kerry would approve of the XL Pipeline, and so would Obama. Kerry did it Friday while he was globe-trotting and giving speeches and singing his own praises.
 
 
+91 # tswhiskers 2013-03-01 09:41
Yes, Dr. Reich is surely correct in his advice to the President. Our only hope is that the Tea Partiers will hang themselves by 2014 and that all but a few diehard conservatives will see the truth of their destructive agenda and the lies they and other Reps. keep telling the public, i.e. that Obama is a spendthrift president and that the deficit is enormous. In fact while the debt IS huge, the deficit is almost at Clinton levels. If people wanted to really know what is going on, they would turn off Fox News and watch MSNBC. That alone would bring back a lot of sanity to American politics.
 
 
+22 # Rita Walpole Ague 2013-03-01 14:37
Yes, Prof. Reich does, once again, jiggle our dumbed down brains. Here's a question for the Prof.: with yet another economic catastrophe, is it not a lot easier to force young folks to enlist, thereby keeping the military-indust rial-terrorism complex massive and ready to jump again into another lied into, oh so profitable for the villainaires, war? What the hey, without a draft in place, what better way to force enlistment?

Enlisting could get to be the only job out there. What an evil sham, particularly in giving the enlisters false hope of benefits to come - sorry, not, especially should they be wounded/disable d, with today's VA useless as teets on a bull in med. assistance to incredible numbers of vets who now beg for help, and ending up getting indefinitely wait listed being the VA's response, along with being told, as happened to my 100% disabled vet brother, that the VA would not/could not give him four different surgeries he needed, two of them essential. Brother, lucky he is, got the surgeries from private surgeons, but, with far too many vets are not so lucky, sad and then some, but true. With this word getting out re. the quashing of vets, it's vital, is it not, for the villainaires to get back into recession/depre ssion mode, to ensure enlistments. The villainaires make fortunes during such dreadful economic slumps, while we the sheeple suffer. So....
 
 
+8 # Alice 2013-03-01 16:29
This is why we need a return to the draft. The draft is the reason the people ended the Vietnam War, though it took far to long. Since they now have a volunteer "professional" military, they can have wars whenever they want, especially since the GWOT was begun. The draft ensures the people FEEL the wars and hold their leaders responsible for the losses. You are completely right about the VA needing a big housecleaning and reorganization. It is shameful to leave our veterans waiting at the locked door.
 
 
+7 # Rick Levy 2013-03-02 02:06
Only those who would be affected by the return of the draft, which at this point is young men, should be the ones to offer an opinion on the matter.
 
 
+46 # tabonsell 2013-03-01 14:42
We have to put all this whining about government spending, the deficit and the debt in proper perspective. First; we live in a capitalist society and the lifeblood of capitalism is capital flowing through the system. I.e. spending.

Let's look at history.

Ronald Reagan raised government spending from $678 billion to $1,143 billion; a 69% increase in 8 years (8.625% annually).

George Bush the Daddy raised government spend to $1,409 billion in 4 years; a 28% increase (7% annually).

Bill Clinton raised government spending to $1,863 billion, a 27% increase in 8 years (3.375% annually).

George Bush the Buffoon raised spending to $3,518 billion in 8 years, an 89% increase (11.125% annually).

In his first 4 years Barack Obama has seen spending go up to $3,795 billion; an 8% increase (2% annually), and not enough to keep up with inflation and population growth.

So who, we might ask, are the spendthrift presidents and who are responsible? The facts speak for themselves.
 
 
-39 # MichaelArchAngel 2013-03-01 09:47
The communists are coming back in force as a reaction to damaged government. Where is FDR when we need him?
 
 
+27 # bmiluski 2013-03-01 13:04
Really???? The communists are coming back in force?????? And you know this because........ ???????
 
 
+25 # jwb110 2013-03-01 14:00
Quoting MichaelArchAngel:
The communists are coming back in force as a reaction to damaged government. Where is FDR when we need him?


I was in the Soviet Union when it was still was the Soviet Union and the erosion of rights done there is happening here. All SOviet Citizens were hostage to their Gov't and that is happening here under the GOp?TP and the likes of Grover Norquist.
They had better be ready for a near complete tanking of the economy, not Gov't spending, and a further backlash in the next election cycle.
They can't fool all of the people all of the time.
 
 
+14 # tonenotvolume 2013-03-01 15:45
Oh, I get it. You mean the columnists, right? All those "reporters" are coming from Fox to tell us the "facts"?
 
 
+6 # Alice 2013-03-01 16:31
Thank you for the good laugh. Wonderful comment!
 
 
+23 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-03-01 09:49
We are only spectators in the collapse of our government. We, the people, are out of the loop. The last vestige of our democracy has been drowned in the bathtub of corruption in Washington D.C. (district of criminals) Only two parts of our fascist government are doing well. The War department (got a brand new war just yesterday) and the Security forces of control of our population. We have no choice but to start a rebellion. We need to surround all the federal buildings all over the nation and shut them down. Meanwhile we need to set up a Constitutional Convention to write a new Constitution to be prepared for the collapse of our current system of unregulated capitalism.
 
 
+1 # Alice 2013-03-01 16:32
I think what you are describing sounds a heck of a lot like insurrection, which is not usually the solution to anything.
 
 
+7 # RHytonen 2013-03-01 20:12
Quoting Alice:
I think what you are describing sounds a heck of a lot like insurrection, which is not usually the solution to anything.


Tell that to the French.
 
 
+5 # Nominae 2013-03-02 19:52
Quoting Alice:
I think what you are describing sounds a heck of a lot like insurrection, which is not usually the solution to anything.


Is that what Americans were saying in 1775 ?
 
 
+2 # ssnbbr 2013-03-03 13:50
There will be riots in the streets when our rights have been trampled enough, when too many people are going hungry and (especially) when there are no jobs for young people. Such a rebellion may or may not bring about change.
 
 
+2 # Walter J Smith 2013-03-02 21:22
How about we write the new Constitution first, so we have something to offer potential allies when we take the next step?
 
 
+2 # Madmedic 2013-03-03 13:04
Quoting Walter J Smith:
How about we write the new Constitution first, so we have something to offer potential allies when we take the next step?


WE THE PEOPLE have the right to rewrite/revise the Constitution any day of the week. It just takes a lot of work that we, as modern day Americans, are unwilling to perform.

I don't post this to be disagreeable, simply to bring to mind the overlooked remedy that WE THE PEOPLE already have.
 
 
+61 # corallady 2013-03-01 09:51
The so-called "Tea Party" people are like a new kind of Luddite; but, instead of destroying physical machinery, they are out to destroy the non-tangible but much-larger machinery of our government. And every time they win even a small victory they are emboldened to keep pressing for more; this is why the Democrats dare not keep caving to their demands. Giving in even a little to these 20th-century Luddites is to risk losing a lot--the very structure of our government, our democratic system, and our American way of life.
 
 
+60 # mdhome 2013-03-01 10:07
The tea party will run this country into a third world status if allowed to. The way to balance the budget will be to increase jobs, anything else will be a ruination of this once great country.

" the largest problem is continuing high unemployment (some 20 million Americans unemployed or under-employed) , declining real wages, and widening inequality. Deficit reduction now or in the near-term will only make these worse."

"In fact, Medicare is far more efficient than private health insurance."
 
 
+21 # Alice 2013-03-01 16:35
Medicare for All is the answer. Negotiate prices for pharmaceuticals (which the Democrats tried to pass but which was filibustered). If they are serious about addressing the debt problem, this would go a long way toward fixing it. Remove altogether the Social Security cap, and apply Medicare and Social Security taxes to capital gains. Raise the top tax bracket to Reagan levels (60%). Problem solved.
 
 
+3 # Walter J Smith 2013-03-02 21:24
I wish I could give you five thumgs up.
 
 
+6 # RHytonen 2013-03-01 20:23
and Privatization has proven to double costs.

Goverment needs to start doing its job instead of farming it out to middlemen. Employ people directly and in enormous quantities, but cut WAY down on "reporting." It won't be needed any more.

Anyone who's worked in government or in contracting knows what I mean.

Goverment itself is the definition of ~socialism~.
But what we now have by default, is the very definition of Fascism - what half a million of us died to fight overseas, only to gullibly allow it to take root here..
Joe McCarthy caused far more harm than we realized. Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes (as well as Beck and Limbaugh) owe their fortunes to him.
 
 
-52 # MidwestTom 2013-03-01 10:10
For almost 200 years this country was the greatest nation of earth by many measures. We achieved that with little meddling or guidance from the Federal government. When Eisenhower was President people described Washington as a sleepy town by the Patomac River.

Our opponent in the Cold War was a centrally planned country with more natural resources than we have, but our system was considerably more efficient and we were therefore able to out spend them and win. Now we find ourselves in their situation; trying to support a massive military while at the same time adding social expensive social programs; while our new challenger,Chin a, has a growing industry, much lower wages, virtually no social programs, and a rapidly expanding military. It is only a matter of time rill we go through what Russia did; the elimination of social programs to maintain their shrunken
military.

When the collapse hit the Soviet Union the country divided into many parts peacefully with Russia the largest surviving piece, where the majority of the people were similar in many ways.

Our leaders realize that our country is not united in thought and are apparently preparing a vast Homeland Security Army to try to keep us together by force when our economy collapses.
 
 
+30 # AndreM5 2013-03-01 11:01
Eisenhower was the biggest borrower-and-sp ender President since FDR before him. He launched an expansive economy with the highway construction, hospital construction, public school construction, ON and ON!

No "meddling or guidance from the Federal government???" You are certainly not talking about the USA and certainly not Eisenhower.
 
 
+2 # Madmedic 2013-03-03 17:02
Quoting AndreM5:
Eisenhower was the biggest borrower-and-spender President since FDR before him. No meddling or guidance from the Federal government???" You are certainly not talking about the USA and certainly not Eisenhower.


It was also Eisenhower, the consummate military man, who warned us about the "military industrial complex" taking over the country. It should have been obvious that the neo-fascist takeover was nearly complete when the American public, in their panic for psuedo security against terrorism, didn't let out so much as a peep when the government started throwing around the term "Homeland" Security. I rank that term right up there with "Deutschland Uber Alles" (sp.?) on the "Fascism's Favorites" scale.

On another note, it would be interesting to watch Texas secede from the U.S. ala the Soviet Union, only to fall to a real or even de facto invasion from Mexico. We have created so many real enemies in the world that we have no choice but to hang together, as we will all most assuredly hang separately if each state were to be left to defend itself.
 
 
+23 # Alice 2013-03-01 16:39
Under President Eisenhower, the top tax bracket was 90%, and unions grew faster than at any time in our nation's history, which I happen to think was what built the great middle class. Eisenhower was a great believer in investing in infrastructure and education, very future-thinking policies. If we had a Congress that could think further ahead than their next election, perhaps we could again do great things, as were done in the 1950s, when nobody ever thought about the 110% of GDP debt ratio, which solved itself as employment grew and people earned a decent living and businesses thrived.
 
 
+68 # cafetomo 2013-03-01 10:11
"If you don't want government to work, then government not working proves your point. And so.. you probably shouldn't be trusted with the government."

~Rachel Maddow, to John Stewart.
 
 
-53 # jtatu 2013-03-01 10:24
The economic effect of the so-called sequestration has been and continues to be fraudulently exaggerated by an incompetent President who cannot talk rationally to someone that disagrees with him, the news media and people like Reich.
 
 
-57 # jtatu 2013-03-01 10:26
The economic effect of the so-called sequestration has been fraudulently exaggarated by an incompetent President who cannot even talk rationally to anyone that disagrees with him, the biased news media and people like Reich.
 
 
+21 # bmiluski 2013-03-01 13:06
Another loony tea-bag heard from.
 
 
+34 # tabonsell 2013-03-01 14:54
Let's see.

Our "incompetent" president has added about 5.5 million jobs since the Bush disaster was halted, while the Bush administration eliminated about 8 million jobs.

The economy was contracting at a rate of about 8% (if continued for a full year) when Bush left and is growing now.

Bush increased government spending by 89% in his 8 years (11.125% annually) while Obama has seen an 8% rise (2% annually) in 4 years.

Obama has seen the Dow Jones Industrials double during his term when Bush cut it in half.

Lets us pray and hope for more "incompetency" in our presidents and not the "level-headedne ss" of our past three GOP presidents.

And maybe our president "cannot even talk rationally" to anyone who lacks the basic intelligence to actually listen.
 
 
+6 # Sophie 2013-03-02 02:27
Apparently , the only "news" that you consume is the "Biased" teabagger times, or FUX by any other name.

Interesting how people who hate government have no idea about how it is supposed to work in order to provide-- GOOD GOVERNMENT-- for citizens of any particular democracy. How did so many people manage to avoid history classes?
 
 
+9 # Nominae 2013-03-02 20:08
Quoting Sophie:
Apparently , the only "news" that you consume is the "Biased" teabagger times, or FUX by any other name.

Interesting how people who hate government have no idea about how it is supposed to work in order to provide-- GOOD GOVERNMENT-- for citizens of any particular democracy. How did so many people manage to avoid history classes?


And ..... why do you think so many Republicans have been effectively removing Civics classes from grade school to the College level ? If the masses ARE unaware of the way government is SUPPOSED to work, how much more enthusiasticall y will they then drink the kool-aid ?

Some "educators" in Texas are now FULLY OUT in favor of ENDING instruction that promotes any type of critical thinking, on the excuse that critical thinking makes students "less obedient to their own parents, and more of a 'danger' in the classroom". (SELL FEAR MUCH ?)

Republican propagandists KNOW that knowledge and common sense is their mortal enemy. That's why all the anti-intellectu alism, anti-science, anti - IQs over Room Temperatures, and STATED preference for "Faith Based Reasoning [a howlingly hilarious oxymoron] OVER "Fact Based Reasoning." The Bushies were PROUD to brag that they were running a Fantasy based gubmint !

This, sadly, is NOT sarcasm. This is FACT, and the mental minuses are now willing to expose their ignorance in BROAD DAYLIGHT, and with a straight face.
 
 
+18 # reiverpacific 2013-03-01 10:42
"Imagine a plot to undermine the government of the United States, to destroy much of its capacity to do the public's business, and to sow distrust among the population.
Imagine further that the plotters infiltrate Congress and state governments, reshape their districts to give them disproportionat e influence in Washington, and use the media to spread big lies about the government.
Finally, imagine they not only paralyze the government but are on the verge of dismantling" [Quote from article].
'Nuff said.
This was called "Espionage, Infiltration and High Treason" up until comparatively recent times and was punishable by death in some pretty ingeniously gruesome and horrible ways.
And is partly why Bradley Manning and many other "whistle blowers" should be acclaimed heroes whilst the true Traitors be punished -maybe even drowned in their own bath-water in places like Gitmo or one of the Super-Max prisons where many less evil people are held and abused.
The owner-media serves only to increase the confusion at the opiated grassroots by going along like echo chambers of the powerful and crooked and never looking in depth at anything of importance.
I keep telling my daughter (an EU/UK citizen like myself) to get out with her partner as soon as she can, as I intend do do as soon as is practicable.
And yet Obama just "Compromises" on and on and on with the non-negotiable and obfuscation rules.
 
 
+5 # Dr Peter Sloane 2013-03-01 14:19
I always read with interest, from here in the U.K. your postings. Thanks for your candour.
 
 
+9 # reiverpacific 2013-03-01 22:06
Quoting Dr Peter Sloane:
I always read with interest, from here in the U.K. your postings. Thanks for your candour.

Well, I hope I make it back in one piece SOMEWHERE in Europe before the roof falls in here on the road back to the middle ages -which they never saw here but are starting to get a dose of.
There may be problems in Europe but they are not going to be solved by the "austerity" a.k.a. "let them eat cake" which is the prevailing attitude on the right and even right of center (there is NO left to speak of here) and nothing short of a general strike or another revolution will turn it around (maybe requiring a few heads in the basket).
Even the IMF has warned of the stultifying effect on the still slow recovery but the Republicans don't care -they've got theirs.
 
 
+2 # Walter J Smith 2013-03-02 21:31
I like what you say, but I am puzzled. Why are you over here?

Are you just packing away your money so that "when the time is right" you can take the money and run?

Are you just here to take advantage of the thugs ruining our nation?
 
 
-43 # Above God 2013-03-01 10:50
Starve the beast!
 
 
-24 # Depressionborn 2013-03-01 14:05
Oops, the Beast is going to get $15 billion more this year than last, not exactly a starvation diet. (And after a so called sequester non-event too) I say feed the beast 100% dog food, and not much of that.

Go Tea Party, corral the beast. Root hog or die! Time is running out. The Beast must be put soon back under its rock.
 
 
+23 # Billy Bob 2013-03-01 16:55
Are you really "depression born"? If so, what do you think of the t-baggers who think "starving the beast" means destroying Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid?

If you really want to "starve the beast" it's time to starve the part of it that is doing more harm than good: the military-Pentag on-surveillance - gravy train.

Anything less than that is just a poorly defended lie.
 
 
+19 # reiverpacific 2013-03-01 15:34
Quoting Above God:
Starve the beast!

The rest of us are already bein' starved by the corporations that own and drive "The Beast".
It amazes me how so many of you are incapable of seeing what is one and the same (except for a few brave and lonely voices), preferring to take one side or another.
And you know what a corporate state is, right? A clue; it begins with "F"!
 
 
+18 # James Marcus 2013-03-01 10:56
This Government, All Branches, the way it is, deserves to fold. Most all those now 'serving' should be relieved of Office for Corruption and Fraud.
New elections, Publicly Funded.
NO POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS AT ALL!
 
 
0 # Walter J Smith 2013-03-02 21:33
And then everyone can run, and the publicly funded campaigns will provide for full employment.

Nice theory. Who is paying for this? The bankrupt government?

Perhaps you want to back Senator Sanders's Robin Hood tax proposal first.
 
 
+32 # Vardoz 2013-03-01 11:16
This congress that is delierately waging war on the the people they were elected to represent and tearing apart the fabric of the nation. There is only one word for this- Treason!
 
 
+14 # Madmedic 2013-03-01 15:11
"There is only one word for this- Treason!"

I just wrote my Republican Congressman (Florida) this week advising him to stop committing this very act (yes, I used that word in my letter to him). I am a combat wounded Vietnam vet with many years of military service to my country. I did not serve my nation in that manner, only to see it torn apart by a pack of mad dogs who have no sense of loyalty to their country unless it's one of their "kind' who is the leader.

The current abortion that passes for Republican politics is not going to end well.
 
 
+8 # Regina 2013-03-01 18:55
What abortion? They've given birth to a monster in their own image.
 
 
+3 # Walter J Smith 2013-03-02 21:40
When Karl Rove and his Wall Street cronies invented the Tea Party, that was the nascent abortion the GOP has become. And that abortion is splashing its mess all over the world.

One only wishes the Democratic Party would realise that now is a good time to stop cowering behind that stupid, self-destructiv e GOP and be democratic.

After all, when Obama had not yet revealed just how pro-Wall Street his devotions were, the whole nation was behind him. We so much wanted to believe the Democrats, with the White House and both houses of Congress, would be Democratic. They weren't.

It wasn't until the Democrats proved themselves totally devoted to Wall Street over and over, and to the nation only in a token fashion, that the nation turned them out, and took they favor of Obama away.
 
 
+1 # Walter J Smith 2013-03-02 21:35
Oh, it appears to be ending well and soon and noisily.

We needn't even cheer it on. It is cheering itself on, except when the most rancid of their brainiacs attack the less rancid of them, as when Cheney lashed out at Condi Rice for having been too soft on the Iranians.
 
 
+3 # Madmedic 2013-03-03 08:54
Quoting Walter J Smith:
Oh, it appears to be ending well and soon and noisily.


Oh, You think it's ending?! What we are witnessing is only a temporary power struggle at the very top of the republican party. We, the American people, are only one terrorist attack away from them reasserting and consolidating their power in this country at the national level.

Legions of simple minded voters give the republican party blind allegience, no matter who is in charge at the top. It matters not which side of the current fight winds up in charge. In the end the sheep will follow their leader.

To dismiss the repukes as a threat to democracy that is self destructing before our very eyes is exceedingly dangerous, as they consolidate more and more power at the local and state levels. Examples are: their voter suppression efforts, which while thwarted in some area, were successful in many others; their successful and uncorrectable (for ten years, anyway)gerryman dering of many congressional districts; their truly fascistic, totally undemocratic takeover of all of Michigan's government at all levels, as well as their sell off of governtment assets to their private sector cronies; the successful union busting in Michigan, Wisconsin, NJ, etc.; the successful elimination of abortion as an option in many states, while it is preserved as "constitutional " at the federal level.

No, we dangerously delude ourselves when we see the republican party's power as "ending."
 
 
+24 # Kootenay Coyote 2013-03-01 11:38
Americans went hysterically overboard in the 1950s, taught to fear imaginary ‘Communist’ infiltration alleged to ‘overthrow the government of the USA’; now they’ve got their own homegrown traitors openly declaring the same intent, & instead elect them to Congress. Clever lot, eh?
 
 
+42 # walt 2013-03-01 11:44
I still think that members of Congress who pledged to Grover Norquist should be charged with violating their oath of office. They are sworn to represent the people and constitution, not Norquist and his ilk.
 
 
+1 # Walter J Smith 2013-03-02 21:42
The First Amendment to the Constitution still guarantees every one of us the right to believe any nonsense we can get to stick between our ears. And that includes our Congressmembers , no matter how stupid they are.

I, too, would like to see them penalized materially for their stupidities, but thus far, we haven't found a Constitutional way of doing that. And only Congress, the Administration, and the Courts can get away with ignoring the Constitution.

Maybe it is time to write a new one.
 
 
+15 # IAMMe 2013-03-01 11:48
We all have to bombard the President with emails and calls to stop it with the cutting of social programs and the chained CPI and hurting the middle class even more. 1.5 trillion in cuts is suicide. Act! I did! Let him know, now!
 
 
+11 # Vardoz 2013-03-01 12:29
We already emailed him at whitehouse.gov
 
 
+2 # Walter J Smith 2013-03-02 21:43
Let's not misoverestimate his concern for what we think.
 
 
+24 # Fraenkel.1 2013-03-01 12:42
We don't have to worry about Al Quaeda, the Iran, north Korea not to mention Chinese cyber attacks. We have our very own Fifth Column, The republican Party and their Tea Party Friends.
 
 
+14 # bmiluski 2013-03-01 13:08
Tea-bag tactics.......i sn't that how the Nazi party started?
 
 
+4 # Nominae 2013-03-03 03:17
Quoting bmiluski:
Tea-bag tactics.......isn't that how the Nazi party started?


Indeed it is, financed and encouraged by German Industrialists who were also master war profiteers.

Enter now the Tea Party, birthed by the Koch Brothers and nurtured by Karl Rove. These assholes like Ryan and Cantor have no INTENTION of "governing". They are there simply to assist their Corporate Masters in destroying Government as we know it, and replacing it with privatization and Fascism.

Don't take my word for it, just watch what they DO, and even more importantly, watch what they DON'T do.

They are getting nothing but token resistance from Obama and the Democrats.

Don't look now, but Corporate Take Over of your United States is RIGHT ON schedule ! In fact, very close to being completed.
 
 
+3 # Madmedic 2013-03-03 09:19
Quoting NOMINAE:
Quoting bmiluski:
Tea-bag tactics.......isn't that how the Nazi party started?


Enter now the Tea Party, birthed by the Koch Brothers and nurtured by Karl Rove. These assholes like Ryan and Cantor have no INTENTION of "governing". They are there simply to assist their Corporate Masters in destroying Government as we know it, and replacing it with privatization and Fascism.

Don't take my word for it, just watch what they DO, and even more importantly, watch what they DON'T do.

Don't look now, but Corporate Take Over of your United States is RIGHT ON schedule ! In fact, very close to being completed.


NOMINAE, I am proud to be the first RSN reader to give your post a most enthusiastic and emphatic thumbs up! You definately "get it." Ryan and Cantor are simply the "useful fools" that, I believe it was Stalin, referred to. They will be eliminated once the real puppet masters feel safe to reveal themselves.
Cantor, particularly because of his ethnicity, should know better than to head down the path he is on. Oh well...

For those who see the Internet as the possible, ultimate savior of this formerly great experiment in Democracy,the USA, what happens when the powers that will be pull the plug on the nation's power grid, or nationalize the telcommunicatio ns industry? The real final battle for the control of the "hearts and minds" of the American public will be over before most even knew it had started. So sad ...
 
 
+1 # Nominae 2013-03-04 05:39
Quoting Madmedic:
....

NOMINAE, I am proud to be the first RSN reader to give your post a most enthusiastic and emphatic thumbs up!

For those who see the Internet as the possible, ultimate savior of this formerly great experiment in Democracy,the USA, what happens when the powers that will be pull the plug on the nation's power grid, or nationalize the telcommunications industry? The real final battle for the control of the "hearts and minds" of the American public will be over before most even knew it had started. So sad ...


@ Madmedic - Thank you for "seconding" my position, and for your astute observation relative to the Internet. We have already seen the attempts by Congress to "control" the Internet in any number of ways. So far they have not succeeded, but you know this gang, like the flippin' energizer bunny engaging in Chinese Water Torture, they will be BACK, again, again, again, and again for however many times it takes to FINALLY get their restrictive legislation jammed down the nation's gullet. They have deep pockets, and LITERALLY nothing ELSE to do ! You gotta give them a "P" for persistence ! Drip..... drip ..... drip.... drip .....
 
 
+13 # Michael Lee Bugg 2013-03-01 13:07
I have said since 2003 that the Republicans have orchestrated this deficit mess to justify their long sought destruction of everything but our military-indust rial complex. They are far worse than Captain Ahab!!!
 
 
+12 # chrisconnolly 2013-03-01 13:07
The Tea Party and the Corporates-are- people want as little government as possible so they can freely lie, pollute, and steal our treasury blind in the name of economic development. They are becoming the dreaded epidemic that will kill life on this planet, torturing we the little people all the way to our graves.
 
 
+9 # artic fox 2013-03-01 13:19
Read Aug. 12,'11 Prof E. Pries article in the (Toronto)Star:
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1038961--apocalyptic-crisis-budgeting.
Excerpt:
The headlines have been apocalyptic and relentless. Unless the U.S. cuts trillions in social spending, it will go bankrupt. ..... How could this happen?
During the Reagan era, a friend , a professor of American history, was invited to the deliberations of a Washington think-tank providing policy direction for the Republican Party. As they discussed growing debt & increasing deficit, he was flabbergasted: “Are you not the party of balanced budgets and debt elimination?” The reply was unequivocal, “Our goal is to grow the deficit as much as possible to create political space to eliminate government-fund ed programming. Until then, we want high deficits while lobbying for a balanced budget — & promoting social program cuts as the only solution.”
To create this useful deficit, tax cuts to wealthy individuals and corporate sectors would be dramatically increased, especially to banking, energy, military segments. Implement a transfer of the state’s revenue supply obligations from the wealthiest to the poor & middle classes for an even greater transfer of wealth from the middle classes to the rich thereafter. The only trick was to convince the poor and middle classes to “buy in” via a mixture of patriotism and structural necessity so that they would vote in favor of cutting the very programs that benefitted them.
 
 
+1 # Nominae 2013-03-03 03:24
Quoting artic fox:
Read Aug. 12,'11 Prof E. Pries article in the (Toronto)Star:
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1038961--apocalyptic-crisis-budgeting.
Excerpt:
The headlines have been apocalyptic and relentless.....


Headlines apocalyptic and relentless are ALWAYS authored by Chicken Little. And this endless fear-mongering is ALWAYS as predictably reliable as Sunrise in the East. The masses fall for it EVERY time. Like Lucy with the Football.
 
 
+9 # Don Thomann 2013-03-01 14:38
And these guys talk about "terrorists," and "traitors!" Who is calling who what?
 
 
-29 # jtatu 2013-03-01 15:43
Don Thomann reminded me that when I read the first 2 paragraphs of Reich's article, I realized that if someone else were writing, I would have thought he was talking about the Obama administration. That is who is really set on destroying America.
 
 
0 # Walter J Smith 2013-03-02 21:45
Look, this is a lefty site; if you point out the obvious, most hate you for it as if you were a lefty writing at Politico.com.

But I love to point out the planks in both their eyes.
 
 
+3 # Nominae 2013-03-03 03:26
Quoting Don Thomann:
And these guys talk about "terrorists," and "traitors!" Who is calling who what?


You can set your watch by the fact that WHATEVER the RIght is calling OTHERS, that is as good as a golden confession to what the RIGHT is doing.
 
 
+5 # angelfish 2013-03-01 16:44
Le deluge is not far off. So sad. It could have been averted.
 
 
+11 # Legion 2013-03-01 17:58
Prof. Reich understands what is going on and speaks his mind clearly and forcefully. I agree with him that the Tea Party or whatever you may call it is bent on destructive rather than constructive action, and that the President should forget about seeking accommodation with them. Prof. Reich is one of the few lights in an increasingly dark world. I hope Boehner is defeated in the next election----I do not mean for the Speakership, but for his seat in his home district.
 
 
+9 # giraffee2012 2013-03-01 18:05
Obama knows what is happening and his staying the course to appease TP/GOP is a good effort but not going to happen. He really has no way out. All who vote GOP (i.e. TP) aren't going to listen. Dems are not stampeding in the streets (and I don't blame them with the militarized police we now have)

Look at Wall Street - on the day the Sequester took place -- UNPHASED. Why? The country is owned by big $$ and they are part of the ownership.

Start with the Supreme Court RATS - Scalia's comment about voting rights for minorities is telling AND the cannons for Supremes disallows votes based on $$, politics, personal anything, etc. Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia have voted to promote the TP/GOP agenda on many big issues.

CA prop 8 is not a $$ deal so they'll vote correctly but Citizens United sold us out completely - and is terribly UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
Big $$ now have rights with NO CONSEQUENCES. You pull anything that a big $ does and you go to jail.

2 days ago there were several BIG mergers from airlines to whatever - why? They will now be (like banks) too big to fail or jail

Take you $$ out of any big bank and boycott any big company that does not pay taxes or gets $$ back (they are all online for you to investigate) -- = a small drop in the bucket of rebellion,
 
 
+11 # pushingforpeace 2013-03-01 19:22
Remember when some trillions disappeared from the governments coffers during the Bush/Cheney admin? And now we're broke? Somehow Obama reminds me of Charlie Brown and Lucy -- he just keeps letting her put her finger on the ball before she drops it when he's about to kick, over and over again. Can he really be that stupid? Why would he be surprised at all? Did he really think the Repugs wouldn't claim this as a victory that will just make the Obama years look depressed. Clearly their mandate is to block anything he tries to do so he looks as impotent as possible. I am watching the demise of a decadent society that is cannibalizing itself.
 
 
+6 # spirit17of76 2013-03-01 20:02
"In fact, Medicare is far more efficient than private health insurance."
Indeed. Look at this article http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/11/29/165154236/the-hidden-costs-of-raising-the-medicare-age
In addition, many lower paid workers are not as healthy as more affluent workers and their work is often physically demanding. A higher medicare joining age would penalize these people.
 
 
+1 # JSRaleigh 2013-03-01 20:15
Sounds like some kind of COMMUNIST plot to me; Manchurian Candidates.
 
 
-2 # Kwamined 2013-03-01 21:52
The success of the sequester is a victory for the Tea Party Repugnicans. Obama's legacy will be one of grand failure due to utter inability to lead.
 

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